Sometimes the honeymoon phase starts early, and you want to celebrate every moment with your husband-to-be by your side. Traditional bridal showers are female-only and don't give you the freedom to include your groom or other important men in your life.
There's another party you may not have heard of. The Jack and Jill party is a perfect opportunity to include your fiancé and male relatives in your pre-wedding celebrations.
Learn what makes up a Jack and Jill party and how to throw one for your male and female friends before the big wedding.
- A Jack and Jill party is a co-ed shower for celebrating with close friends and families before the wedding
- The traditional purpose was a fundraising event for the wedding and honeymoon
- Modern Jack and Jill parties are relaxed gatherings with food, games, and gifts
What Is a Jack and Jill Party?
A Jack and Jill party is a co-ed wedding shower where the bride and groom's friends and family can celebrate the upcoming wedding. If you haven't heard of it before, don’t worry, Jack and Jill parties are a relatively new trend.
The concept originated in Canada, where people called the party stag and doe, buck and doe, or hen and stag party. Traditionally the party was a way to give the new couple a financial boost in the middle of wedding planning.
Most commonly, couples would ask for a small admission fee. However, some couples prefer to throw a free party but have fundraising activities like raffles and paid games to collect funds. This financial boost can help pay for wedding costs, provide a honeymoon fund, or give the couple a small financial foot up when starting their new life together.
Couples today don't always include the fundraising part in their couples shower. Instead, brides and grooms use the Jack and Jill party to celebrate together instead of a female-only shower.
5 Dos and Don'ts of Jack and Jill Parties
1. When Does a Jack and Jill Party Take Place?
DON'T: Keep in mind other events and people's schedules. For example, guests might choose not to attend if the party happens during the work week or is too close to another party. So instead, keep items like the bachelorette party and the Jack and Jill party separate so your guests can comfortably attend everything.
DO: Most couples throw the party one to three months before the wedding. The couple sets this time because it gives the bride and groom time to collect some extra funds before the first wedding day payments are due. However, the timing also spreads out wedding festivities, so no one is overwhelmed with planning and parties.
If you want to invite out-of-town guests that will also have to travel for the wedding, consider throwing the Jack and Jill party even earlier so the guests can spread out their travel times.
2. Who Hosts a Jack and Jill Party?
DON'T: You can sigh in relief because you're not responsible for throwing the party. You have enough on your plate and shouldn't have to worry about yet another task. This time is for you to relax and get pampered!
DO: Usually, family or a close friend would throw the party, just like a bridal shower or engagement party.The maid of honor or best man can take over the task. However, you are welcome to join in the planning if you have some ideas and suggestions for making it personal (like serving your favorite cocktail).
3. Who Should You Invite?
DON'T: In the traditional stag and doe party, couples would invite as many guests as possible, increasing the funds the couple raised. Some couples would go as far as inviting guests they weren't planning to invite to the wedding.
DO: If you're throwing a more relaxed Jack and Jill party, limit the guest list. Be sure to also invite these guests to your wedding so everyone can celebrate every stage of the preparation and ceremony with you.Because it's a co-ed shower, you can invite friends from both sides of the family, both male and female. For the greatest enjoyment, make the party an intimate affair with your closest friends and family as you prepare for your big day. Just be sure to make the invitations clear that this is a co-ed event to avoid awkward surprises (like intimate honeymoon gifts).
4. What Gifts Do Guests Bring?
DON'T: Remember that the Jack and Jill party isn't a bridal shower. In other words, the guest should save that sexy lingerie for another time or gift it in private after the party.
Instead, keep the gifts appropriate enough that you will feel comfortable opening them in front of your grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
DO: You can consider sharing your wedding registry so guests can pick useful household items. You can also keep the tradition of raising funds but make it creative. For example, you might have a honeymoon fund and ask for donations instead of gifts. Then, hand out raffle tickets for prizes in exchange for monetary donations.
5. What Happens at a Jack and Jill Party?
DON'T: Reserve extended sitting for the ceremony. Instead, provide ways your guests can stay active. The Jack and Jill tradition hasn't been around long enough for there to be any formal structure or strict rules. Therefore, the sky is the limit on what you do at the party–so make it your own.
DO: A Jack and Jill party is a time to kick back and enjoy yourselves. Do you want to meet up at your favorite winery for brunch? Go ahead! Is a relaxed backyard barbecue more your style? That's another perfect idea.
You can play fun games, like quizzing the happy couple to see how well you know each other. You can also get all the guests involved with exciting group activities.
You will want food at the event. Otherwise, your guests won't be staying very long. The party doesn't have to be a formal meal. You can also offer appetizers and cocktails or less formal food and drinks. Make the event your own by designing it to reflect what you love as a couple.
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